Kindred’s Nordic regulatory hurdles continue as Unibet faces Danish reprimands

Unibet has been handed one order and five reprimands by Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gaming Authority, for ‘a number of breaches’ of KYC and AML requirements. 

It was found that the Kindred sports betting brand’s AML strategy left the firm exposed to an increased risk of money laundering. In particular, the operator was found to have ‘not sufficiently made a risk assessment’ of customer types and games offered, resulting in the one and only order from the regulator. 

Under the requirements of the Money Laundering Act, Unibet was also reprimanded for failing to have sufficient written business procedures for monitoring of customer relations or collecting and assessing money laundering documentation up until 25 January 2022. 

Furthermore, up until 22 April 2021, Unibet did not implement adequate business procedures for managing ‘politically exposed persons’, or their family members and close associates, resulting in a third reprimand. 

A fourth reprimand was given due to a spot check of 20 ‘high roller’ Unibet customers revealing inadequate KYC measures in five out of 20 cases – in three of these cases the firm had also failed to investigate suspicious transactions and in one had not made an immediate report to the Money Laundering Secretariat despite having a reason to suspect money laundering.

Additionally, a ‘young player’ was able to deposit DKK 1 million (€134,511) into his account using six different payment slips within a year, without Unibet conducting a check into whether the account holder’s funds originated from criminal activity. This resulted in the fifth and final reprimand for the operator.  

As with one of the other cases, Unibet also failed to report this case to Money Laundering Secretariat, having only investigated the deposits after the individual was no longer a Unibet customer, six months after the firm had a suspicion of money laundering and only after it was contacted by Spillemyndigheden.

Unibet has been handed a two month deadline to comply with the order to correct its risk assessment, but has no obligation to act on the four reprimands since the ‘breaches no longer exist’. 

Spillemyndigheden stated: “The Danish Gambling Authority notes that the rules on risk assessment, business procedures, KYC measures, and the obligation to investigate and report are fundamental parts of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Breaches of the rules lead to an order or a reprimand.”

The development marks a continuation of regulatory struggles for Nasdaq Stockholm-listed gambling group Kindred in the Nordic markets. Earlier this week, its Trannel International subsidiary was informed by the Norwegian Lotteries Authority that it will be sanctioned with a fine of NOK 1.2 million (€120,000) per day if it does immediately cease its unlicensed activities.

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